Friday, April 25, 2008

How financial advisors use LinkedIn to boost their visibility

"Boosting my visibility" is the number one reason why financial advisors are participating in LinkedIn (LI). LI profiles and answers both deliver benefits. But tread carefully, or your compliance department—or even the SEC—could nail you.


LinkedIn profile makes you easier to find—and track

You’ll be easier to find in a Google search if you have an LI profile. "By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust." as Guy Kawasaki said in "Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn." With more people looking online for services, that’s critical. At a minimum, your profile should include your name, title, and location, but you can beef it up with details, including a link to your website.

Rob Schmansky, a Detroit, Mich.-based wealth manager, likes that LI shares his profile updates with potential clients, friends, and family who are his LI connections. This may put his name in front of them when they can make a referral or need financial advice themselves. He makes it easy for his network to find his profile by providing a link in his email signature.


LinkedIn Answers let you display your expertise—and learn

LI Answers let you respond to questions posed by others and ask your own. The “personal finance” category will probably interest the greatest number of financial advisors. However, check out other categories , too.

Carlton Johnson, an independent advisor in the Charlotte, N.C. area, says “As I provide answers to questions, potential clients are always reading answers. ‘Best answers’ are great testimonies to technical prowess; however, even good and unrated answers can clue a potential client on how you are currently viewing finance world and particular situations relevant to them.”

Some financial advisors would submit answers even if there were no prospect of gaining clients. One advisor, who asked to remain anonymous, said he gives answers to help prevent individuals from making common mistakes.

Andrew Baechler of PWL Capital in the Ottawa, Canada area likes Answers “as a gauge to see what issues are currently top-of-mind with investors.” Johnson also sees Answers as an educational resource. “LI serves as a platform to exchange ideas and find solutions to questions that my clients and others may have about difficult financial situations.”

As an occasional writer for financial magazines, I see another benefit for advisors. You can connect with reporters. Journalists are increasingly using Answers to find sources to interview for stories. Being quoted in articles can enhance your credibility.


Watch out for compliance!

Pay attention to your organization’s compliance rules. One advisor told me that even something as basic as her LI profile had to be approved by the compliance department. Your firm may be more flexible. “My compliance department allows me to post on LinkedIn without their approval, so long as I don’t provide specific investment guidance,” says Baechler.

Some advisors may be crossing the line that forbids testimonials for registered investment advisors. Check with compliance before you accept a Recommendation through LI.

Are you an advisor who’s leveraging LinkedIn? Leave a comment about how it’s working for you.

_________________
Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Investment Writing
Writing that's an investment in your success

Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.


Labels: , , , ,

2 Comments:

Blogger Cathy Curtis said...

Hi Susan, thanks for the post on LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn to be connected with other professionals whom I may not stay connected with otherwise except for an occasional email. My network on LinkedIn is distinct (in most cases) from my network on Facebook or even Twitter. It seemed quite "static" to me, but it has become more interactive over the last few months and I find myself visiting more often. I make sure to post in "What Are You Working on Now", and I read others posts. I feel that the more people you are connected to in unique ways the better!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ace Custodio said...

I've been using LinkedIn for a little over a year now, and I must say, your topics hit the spot for what LI is supposed to be.

By using LI, I have been able to advertise our services for free and my profile generates about a quarter of our daily website visits.

Needless to say, producing a profit for our clients in the 2008 Financial Crisis helped garner some attention and LinkedIn was one of the main sources of that traffic.

2:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home